A residential home up for sale.

Welcome! If you’re reading this, congratulations are likely in order because you’re considering buying your first home. This is a big leap into the realm of financial independence and a potentially life-changing decision. It’s exciting, a little scary, but most of all, it’s a journey worth taking. In this blog, we’ll delve into some of the key steps involved in purchasing your first home and discuss the importance of a drain survey.


Step 1: Financial Planning

The first step in the journey to homeownership is financial planning. Determine how much you can afford, considering both upfront costs and ongoing expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes, and home maintenance. Research financing options, and be sure to get pre-approved for a mortgage as this will make you a more attractive buyer.


Step 2: Home Search

Once you’ve got your finances in order, it’s time to start searching for your dream home. Take into account important factors such as location, size, price, and potential future value. Consider working with a real estate agent as they can help you navigate the housing market and negotiate prices.


Step 3: Home Inspection


An engineer standing outside a residential property inputting information into a camera.


Now, you’ve found a potential house, and you’ve made an offer. Here’s where home inspection comes into play. This is an opportunity to ensure that the house is in good condition and doesn’t harbour any hidden defects. This brings us to a specific type of inspection, a drain survey may not be the first thing on your mind when buying a house, but it’s an essential step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Drain surveys can reveal a lot about the property you are considering.

The tools used in a drain surveys involve the use of specialized CCTV cameras to inspect the condition of the home’s drainage system. These surveys can uncover issues such as blockages, leaks, tree root intrusion, and structural damage, which could potentially cost thousands to repair.

The information obtained in a drain survey can be invaluable. It gives you an overview of the structural condition of the drain and sewer system, potential repair costs, and can even be used as a negotiating tool in the buying process.


Off Main Drain, Cesspit & Septic Tanks


equipment to efficiently empty cesspits and septic tanks of various sizes and complexities


Understanding off-mains drainage systems, such as cesspits and septic tanks, is vital for first-time home buyers, especially when investing in rural or semi-rural properties where mains sewer access is not available. These systems handle, store and treat the wastewater your home produces quietly and efficiently.

A cesspit is a sealed, underground tank that collects and stores sewage without treatment – filling up over time until it needs to be emptied by a professional service. It’s essential to monitor the level of waste material in the cesspit regularly, as overflows or leaks could lead to significant environmental damage and hefty fines.

On the other hand, septic tanks provide a level of treatment by separating solid waste from liquid, breaking down the solid waste through anaerobic processes, and draining the treated liquid (effluent) into a soakaway system. The remaining sludge needs periodic removal. While these systems may seem daunting to the uninitiated, they are generally easy to manage with regular maintenance and professional help.

First-time home buyers should ensure a full survey and inspection of any existing off-mains system is undertaken before purchase. This will highlight the system’s condition, capacity, and any obligatory environmental permits (in certain areas) – key factors that could impact your decision and are crucial for responsible, cost-effective homeownership.


Step 4: Closing The Deal

Once all inspections have been conducted and you’re satisfied with the results, it’s time to close the deal. At this stage, be prepared to deal with paperwork. You’ll be signing agreements, paying closing costs, arranging for insurance, and finally receiving the keys to your first home.

Remember, buying your first home is not just about investing your money, but also investing your time and effort. Including a drain survey in your home-buying process may seem like a minor detail, but it’s one that could save you a significant amount of hassle, time, and money in the future.


Navigating Your First Home Purchase: The Art of Negotiation and Costing


First time buyers sitting at  estate agents office having a meeting.


Embarking on the journey of buying your first home is nothing short of exciting. It’s a path filled with anticipation, exploration and, of course, paperwork. As a first-time buyer, you may find the process overwhelming. But, don’t worry; we’re here to guide you through it. This blog focuses on a critical aspect of your home buying journey: negotiation for repairs, including drains, and the associated costings.


Step 1: Understanding Your Budget

Before you start house hunting, it’s crucial to understand your financial capability. Talk to a mortgage broker or your bank to get a clear idea of what you can afford. This includes both the overall property price and any potential repair costs.


Step 2: Initiating the Home Search

Once you’re clear on your budget, it’s time to start looking for your dream home. You might have a list of non-negotiables, such as location, number of rooms, or specific amenities. Having a real estate agent can help in this process, as they can provide insight into the market and guide you towards homes within your budget.


Step 3: The Home Inspection and Drain Survey

Congratulations, you’ve found a potential home! Now, it’s time for a home inspection. This process is paramount as it uncovers any hidden issues in the house that might need repairs.

One key area to focus on during the inspection is the drainage system. A quality drain survey can reveal issues such as blockages, structural damage, or even tree root intrusion. These problems can result in significant repair costs later on, so it’s crucial to address them before closing the deal.


An engineer carrying out a first time home buyers survey.


Enter the Negotiation Arena

Now, let’s delve into negotiations. Let’s say your drain survey has discovered some issues. Here’s how you should go about it:


Get Repair Estimates

First, get estimates on the cost of repairs needed. You can get these from a qualified plumber or drainage professional. Be sure to get multiple estimates to ensure you have a realistic picture of potential costs.


Negotiate with the Seller

Once you have repair estimates in hand, it’s time to negotiate. There are two typical routes:

  1. Price Reduction: You can ask the seller to reduce the price of the house equivalent to the cost of repairs. This means you’ll have the funds to fix the issues once you own the property.
  2. Repairs Before Purchase: Alternatively, you can request that the seller fixes the issues before the sale. Be sure to have the repairs re-inspected and ensure they were done professionally.

Your real estate agent can be a valuable asset during negotiations, offering advice based on their experience and market knowledge.


Step 4: Closing the Deal

After successful negotiations and all questions are satisfactorily answered, it’s time to close the deal. This is where all the paperwork comes into play. Once complete, you’ll receive the keys to your new home.


Contact Us for Home Buyers Drain Survey

Remember, buying your first home is a significant step. It’s worthwhile to invest in resources such as professional inspections and experienced real estate agents to ensure you’re making informed decisions. The negotiation process allows you to ensure any potential issues are addressed before they become expensive headaches.

A general manager talking to customers.

So, as you embark on this journey, take every step with care. Use the resources available to you, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure you fully understand every part of the process. Happy house hunting!

For more information about drain surveys or to schedule one for your prospective home, kindly reach out to us. We’re here to help make your first home buying experience as smooth as possible.